Kuniko Kanawa is an owner of Atelier Kanawa, the earth friendly studio in which she offers traditional Japanese cultural services as a certified Kimono consultant, Kimono model, founder of Washington D.C. Kimono Club, Edo Tsumami Kanzashi artisan, and certified Shinto priestess.
In 2007, Kuniko officially became a certified Kimono consultant of All Japan Kimono Consultant Association, after graduating from Sodo Reiho Kimono College. Since obtaining this certificate, approved by the Ministry of Education/Science and Economy/Industry, she has been offering Kimono dressing services and Kimono photo shoots; instructing Kimono classes and workshops; producing Kimono fashion shows and dressing demonstrations; hosting academic Kimono lectures; and so on. She also works as a Kimono model, treasuring six years of classical Japanese dance training in Hanayagi style by the great instruction of Mme. Wakana Hanayagi sensei.
In the same year, she became a professional Edo Tsumami Kanzashi artisan through intensive training by designated master Kazuyo Hozumi, one of only a few designated Edo Tsumami Kanzashi artisans in Japan. As a successor to preserve this disappearing traditional handicraft, she creates both traditional and modern designed Tsumami Kanzashi, including custom orders. Her beautiful creations can be purchased online at her website. She occasionally participates in arts & crafts shows. She has offered monthly classes and workshops at many venues such as the Japan-America Society of Washington D.C., the Carrol County Arts Council, and many anime conventions. She currently accepts private students only.
In early 2013, she founded Washington D.C. Kimono Club. The Club welcomes her Kimono students who love and sincerely respect Kimono, Japanese seasonal culture, traditional Japanese customs/manners, and Kimono decorum. Members can participate in Japanese seasonal cultural events in Kimono, attend Washington D.C. Kimono Club’s special workshops, and model at her Kimono fashion shows and dressing demonstrations.
In October 2015, Rev. Kuniko Kanawa humbly became a certified Shinto priestess through Ama-no-Iwakura-Jingu, the independent Shinto shrine in Horoshima prefecture. Through deeply pursuing the traditional Japanese culture because of her profession, she was naturally guided to this path to rediscover Shinto, the indigenous religion of Japan, and core heart and soul of Japanese culture and spirituality. Now she offers Shinto ceremonies and rituals, such as Shinto weddings, Shichi-go-san, Shinnen-sai / Hatsu-moude (New Year Prayer), Seijin-shiki (Coming of Age Ceremony) , anime convention Opening Ceremonies, Jomaku-shiki (Unveiling Stature Ceremony), Shokuju-sai (Planting Trees), Omiya-mairi (First Visit of Shinto shrine with a Newborn Baby), and Misogi (Purification Practice which involves running water). She also offers Shinto lectures.